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Robert Lee Winrow passed away January 22, 2024, at his home in Earlsboro, Oklahoma surrounded by his loving family. He was born at home in Earlsboro on January 28, 1940, to Arlander and Olie (Miller) Winrow.
Ribbit, as He was called by many, grew up humbly, in the town of Earlsboro, with His Mother and Father and 10 siblings. After the passing of His Mother when most of the children were really young, his Aunt, Rosa Lee and Uncle Mack Anderson, took and raised the kids, east of town, at the Anderson Farm. Robert attended school at Lincoln Elementary and went on to graduate from Pleasant Grove High School, Seminole, Oklahoma, in 1959, and was a star basketball player. Jokingly Robert would profess he could jump so high, he could sit on the rim. Some of his classmates often talked about his amazing leaping ability, which made Robert’s story believable. At an early age, Robert would rise before the sun came up and began his day milking cows at the Worrell’s Farm, before heading to school. Robert always attributed his leaping ability to the constant up and down squatting, milking the dairy cows on the Worrells Farm. Robert had very fond memories of the Worrell’s family and said they treated him as their own, supporting him throughout his school years and beyond.
After High School Robert found and pursue the love of his life, Virgil Young, in the small country town of Brooksville, Ok. While courting Virgil, Robert went to Tyler Texas to attend barber school, where he attained his barbers license. After graduating he quickly returned home to marry Virgil. Soon after their union, Robert was drafted into the United States Army, and was sent to Friedberg, Germany. In 1963, during harsh conditions while in Army Basic training, at Fork Polk, Louisiana, Robert scored a perfect PT score of 500, something rarely achieved. This accomplishment was a testament to the type of man that Robert was. After completing his Army obligation, he served 2 years in the United States Air Force, and later re-enlisted in the United States Army Reserve 95th division, located in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to complete his 22 years of service as a Drill Sergeant.
After returning home from Germany, Robert went to work for the Pottawatomie Telephone Company, where he was known for setting telephone poles single handedly without any equipment. Robert completed masonry school, at Gordon Cooper Vo-Tech, to insure he could brick his own home.
In 1967, Robert went to work at Tinker Air Force Base where he retired after 24 years. During his time at Tinker, Robert received numerous incentive payouts for his innovative ideas to improve his work environment and the advancement of aircraft products produced at the base. Robert rose to the rank of tubing shop supervisor, where he fought against discrimination, broke many racial barriers, and won numerous weightlifting competitions. Upon retiring, Robert’s work had just begun. His entrepreneurial spirit and love for moving dirt, catapulted him into a career of demolition, pond building, house pad building, construction, gravel hauling, inventing, you name it, he did it. Roberts small business reached as far north as Tonkawa, Ok, and as far south as Davis, OK. As many knew, Robert was a workaholic, He often said he felt close to God, while working in the dirt and soil, and in mother nature. Robert’s zeal for perfection and fairness to the customer, left him well sought after. If he didn’t know how to do it, God would give him the vision and he would get it done. He was a jack of all trades and master of quite a few!
Robert truly loved his community serving in so many capacities. Robert was an original member of the Earlsboro Fire Department serving along the likes of Dennis Rawls, Slim Johnson, Donnie Owens, Wayne Mize, Bobby Haynes and others, and retired after serving 20 Years as a volunteer firefighter and Assistant Fire Chief. Robert served the Earlsboro Public School Board of Education for 6 years. He received from the Town of Earlsboro the Awesome award for Community Service. Robert always welcomed opportunities to beautify or improve his community, and his last memorable work was helping his daughter and the Town of Earlsboro, to install metal bridges along the walking trail at Earlsboro Park. In 2003, Robert recieved received the Metropolitan Better Living Center Oklahoma Achievers Award for his work in the community.
Robert was a faithful and lifelong member of Ware Chapel CME Church, Earlsboro, Oklahoma, serving as Sunday School Superintendent, Trustee and Treasurer for many years. He helped build the existing church and was diligent in caring for the maintenance and grounds, until he was no longer able to do so.
More than anything, Robert loved God and took every opportunity he could to tell you about him and His son Jesus. Robert instilled Godly values within his children and taught each of them a strong work ethic, and how to respect their fellow man and elders, by always saying yes sir and no ma’am. He lead by example! Robert will always be a legend in the hearts and minds of his children, grandchildren and loved ones. He was one of a kind! A giant among men. Being the man he was, Robert fought till his last breath, until he reached out and took Gods hand. Robert Lee Winrow you will be truly missed and never forgotten.
Left to cherish Robert’s memory are his children; Randy Seth Winrow (Normand), Rachelle Lea Jones (Sherman) with son Kolin JK Jones and daughter Kourtney Leigh Jones and Robert Kyle (Autumn) with Hayden M. Winrow, Kyla M. Winrow and Kelly L. Winrow, brother; John Calvin Winrow (Claudie) and sisters; Anna Jean Brown, Ollie Ruth Hinex, Laverne Doolittle, Loretta Collins and Sonja Cason. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Virgil, his brothers; Freeman Winrow, Orlando Winrow and Joe Winrow and his sister Bradie Winrow.
Viewing for Robert will be from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 28th and 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 29th at Swearingen Funeral Home.
The funeral service will be at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at Rock Creek Baptist Church, 44900 Hardesty Road in Shawnee, Oklahoma with Rev. Kenneth Grayson officiating. Interment with full military honors will follow at Earlsboro Cemetery in Earlsboro, Oklahoma. Please drive with your lights on for safety and fasten your seatbelts.
Pall Bearers will be Chad Anderson, John Calvin Winrow, Jr., Ricky Winrow, Kolin Jones and Matt Jones. Honorary Pall Bearers will be Randy Winrow, Clarence Benard, Jr. and Blake Jones. Flower Bearers will be Veronica Benard, Kyla Winrow, Kourtney Jones and Reujena Winrow. Honorary Flower Bearers will be family and friends.
Funeral services entrusted to Swearingen Funeral Home in Seminole, Oklahoma.